Playgroup Association Northern Territory (PANT) was established in 1980. Its motto is "Fun for All". But playgroup NT is not only offering fun for their members. It supports all families in the Northern Territory to learn and grow through play. PANT has various programs from newborn babies up to 5 year old children, children with special needs, first time mums and many more.
Children have a chance to interact and socialise with other children
Playgroup is an informal session where mums, dads, grandparents, caregivers, children and babies meet together, play together and learn together in a relaxed environment. Playgroup supports free play and children can choose their own activities without a structured schedule.
Chance to develop their imagination
Playgroups give lots of benefits to children, families and communities. Not like child care, at playgroup parents and caregivers stay to play and interact with children. At playgroup, children can participate in new experiences, develop and increase their social skills, learn sharing, co-operation and simple routines, and interact with other adults and children in a safe environment. The sense of community that results in participation in a playgroup promotes feelings of belonging and connectedness.
Playgroup indoor setting
Playgroup outdoor settings
Children and caregivers play together
In Darwin itself, Playgroup NT can be found at Nakara Primary School, Nightcliff Uniting Church and Rossiter Street Rapid Creek. In the Palmerston Area, they can be found at Palmerston Child and Family Centre, Moulden Park Preschool, Gray Family Centre and Driver Family Resource Centre. Playgroup NT can also be found in Darwin rural areas such as Fred's Pass Reserve, Girraween Preschool, Howard Hall on Whitewood Road, Humpty Doo Preschool and Territory Wildlife Park.
You only need 3 families to set up a new playgroup in your area. PANT will give support and advice to set up new playgroup. Playgroup can be held anywhere. The important thing is the place has to be safe for children and easy for groups of people to meet. It can be at community and neighbourhood centres, health clinics, women's centres, preschools and kindergartens, church halls, parks and playgrounds, or even in someone's house. Each playgroup can set up their own range of activities. It can be music and singing, imaginative play, outdoor and free play, art and craft activities, even outings.
Playgym at Darwin Playgroup House
The PANT membership fee will cover insurance (personal accident and property cover for you and your children while attending a registered playgroup session) and also up date information on all aspects of positive parenting, child development, learning through play and playgroup skills. With your PANT membership, you can get practical support and have access to all Playgroup House facilities and referrals to other support services in the NT. Playgroup membership also offers you flexibility, by giving you access as many as different affiliated NT playgroups that you wish. The membership fee will cover insurance for all the playgroups you attend.
Playgroup is for newborn up to 5yo
With your membership fees, you are entitled for TWO FREE visits at the playgroup of your choice. On your third visit, you will be asked to pay a session fee to help cover the running of the playgroup and you will be required to become a member of the Playgroup Association NT. Session fees vary between playgroups, but on average are offered at $3 per family/per week. For families/individuals attending registered Playgroups and/or Play Gym, it will cost $35 inc GST per year or $20.00 inc GST per half year (after 1 July) membership fee. For casual membership it will cost $3 per child per session in GST for families accessing Playgroup on a casual basis or for a short period only. This fee is in addition to the individual playgroup normal session fee. Membership is valid for 12 months only and is not refundable, but is transferable to any other Playgroup Association throughout Australia.
If you would like to start a new playgroup in your area or join an existing playgroup, call PANT on 1800 171 882 (free call) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also can be found on their Facebook site here.